The major metropolis in the Empire State is home to a lot of movements, whether in art forms or in politics. In terms of art, this city leads all others perhaps with things like dance competitions in New York. This kind of thing is related to a musical movement which was given birth in the many streets of NYC, too.
That means that there is a lot of nostalgia or emotional connection in this type of competition even with teenagers. The street may have been where everything happened first before these competitions became institutionalized or made more formal. However all of the moves are right there on stage and for many there could be no better formats or settings today.
Although there are still so many impromptu dance battles or showdowns out on the corners of neighborhood streets, the formal one is the thing that many groups crave to win. This means that on corners they might even right now be practicing for what has become the real thing. These contests are now accepted universally and have changed the landscape.
For kids, that is a great thing, especially since they can get organized with a view towards winning. New York City local government will handle the organizing as well as collect from many sponsors or donors. It is a donor itself, and that can make any competition in dance that much more attractive and exciting.
The competitions are also vehicles for goodwill, things that connect young people to each other. In a very large city, this is an outreach thing that works well. For many who want to join, it is only a matter of hanging out with friends, have some good music on and do the practice while actually having fun.
There is a lot at stake here in terms of prestige and prize money. However many groups simply participate to do their own thing, and it often does not matter which group wins. The clean and clear guidelines preclude prejudice, therefore this is also a vehicle for combating racism for this city.
The music is usually dependent on modern songs that may originate right from the city. There have been styles and movements here not just for rap and hip hop but for jazz and rock, which means the sources for kids are eclectic. The most used songs however are in the hip hop and rock categories.
While there are formal coaches and tutors for groups, they often work on their own. They might have advise from elder dancers or those who have experienced participating in such contests. The costumes are also mostly home made or done with some friend who can do clothing and uniforms, but styles are decided on by group members.
There is an atmosphere of trust and friendship in these kinds of events. Which is mostly what the organizers hope to have, and there has not been any negative incident that has made headlines here. Which is to say that these are really great things that happen from time to time for the youth of New York.